mysterious Apricot Beauty
Those of you who read here regularly may have noticed that I’ve been slacking off lately.Life has a way of interfering with blogging, sometimes, and I’ve been going through one of those times.But what better way to bring this blog back to life than to talk about that other resurrection, those brown dry bulbs that turn into flamboyant or shy beauties that can send a moribund mood into happy orbit? Of course, I’m talking about tulips.Yes, the time to think about tulips is NOW.Because if you want this (or something like it) next spring
brilliant yellow West Point, backed up by Purissima tulip and Hawera narcissus
you must get your bulbs NOW. And you must plant them soon.Why should you plant tulips?Because they’re one of the best mood elevators around, and you don’t have to worry about liver failure or kidney damage to use them.Because they are incredibly beautiful, and life can’t have too many beautiful things.Because they can be beautiful like delicate wildflowers
Tulipa bataalinii Apricot Jewel. Not quite a species, but close.or the most flamboyant notes of spring
Generaal de Wet, an heirloom with a musky scent that fills the atmosphere
and everything in between.
white sport of Creme Upstar
Because tulips sales have gone down in this country (even before the economy did. Could one have to do with the other?). We need to support beauty in our yards, our neighborhoods, our public gardens. Beauty makes people better. It even cuts down on crime.Because (if you live in a climate that gets at least some freeezes) they are one of the easiest possible things you can grow.Because you can grow tulips anywhere, even in unexpected places.
Apricot Beauty, again
Because they are beautiful, come rain
Queen of the Night – no garden should be without it
or come shine.
Tulipa bataalinii Bright Gem
Because they change from beauty to beauty, from the shy opening in the morning
Yellow-and-white Sweetheart tulip, with Lady Jane in the background
to the soul-baring midday spread.
Purissima (or White Emperor), a tulip that can last for twenty years in the garden
Because even if your garden is a doorstep or balcony, a container of tulips will bring you the thrill of the first sprout
the new bud
the opening flower
yes, that’s Apricot Beauty again. I’m a little sick on the subject of Apricot Beauty.
and a flower that changes beautifully in the course of its life, gorgeous to the end.
Also a little sick on the subject of Queen of the Night – can you blame me?
If you want ideas on what varieties to get, you can enter “tulips” in the search engine on this site, and get many many writeups, from my Tulipomania week and from all the other times I could sneak in a tulip post.If you want ideas on where to get tulips, this link will take you to the first of a series of 5 posts where I laid bare my feelings about my favorite bulb catalogs.If you’re feeling strapped for cash, be sure to check out “13 Ways to Get Your Tulips to Come Back” before you order. The first item on the list is choosing the right varieties; some come back more easily than others (check the note below the picture of Purissima, above). Pick the right ones, and you may have a show for years to come.Another way to save cash is to wait for the end-of-season sales. Since these don’t start until November, that means you have to live in a place where the ground doesn’t freeze hard by then. Another caveat is that your selections will be limited. On the other hand, that also means that you don’t have to make so many decisions, a good thing for the weak-willed. (Being weak-willed, I am going the end-of-season-sale route myself this year. I have so many hundreds of bulbs, and I want so many hundreds more – I need all the help I can get. Short of actually stopping buying bulbs, of course.)If you want more inspiration, try Dianne Benson’s paeon to tulips at DirtierOr just take a good look at the pictures in this post, or in a catalogue, or on a bulb-selling website, and imagine that greeting you at your door next spring.